How Happy Makes Space for Women in Leadership
You may have seen rather gleeful headlines recently reporting that Marie Kondo has relaxed her stance on tidying up after the arrival of her third child. These days she’s focusing less on the mess and more on the joy. We love this quote from her: "My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life."
At Happy we were inspired by her idea of things sparking joy, so much so that our strapline is 'Creating Joy at Work'. It's something we practise, and we measure regularly, aiming for all of our staff to spend a high proportion of their time at work doing things that bring them joy.
Hi, we are Happy
We are leading a movement to create happy, empowered and productive workplaces.
How can we help you and your people to find joy in at least 80% of your work?
Putting inclusion at the heart of everything we do
Happy's current joy at work rating is an amazing 86%.
That doesn’t happen just by being kind and supportive, although we do that too. It's born out of specific leadership behaviours like Multiplying our staff, knowing and using everyone's strengths, and it's about inclusion.
Happy has always been a place where women thrive in leadership roles, and our strategic leadership group is made up of more than 50% women. This success comes from our long-standing open approach to flexible working and our commitment to creating a real sense of autonomy for each member of staff within a job role that plays to their strengths. This approach allows each person to shine as an individual and removes some of the traditional structures that see leadership teams lacking in diversity.
Of course, it's only possible to have women in leadership if you get them through the door in the first place. Happy's recruitment process does not favour those who can talk about their great performance at work. Instead, it gets people doing the job they're being interviewed for, and so takes out the natural bias against women who tend not to talk-up their own abilities. We're currently reviewing our recruitment processes and everything we do at Happy to ensure that we're consistently putting inclusion for everyone at the heart of everything we do, as we are always looking for ways to do better.
As women and as leaders we live with expectations that may come from the wider world, or even our own homes and workplaces, that make it hard to feel the peace that Marie Kondo describes. We need to acknowledge that we live with the authority gap that Mary Ann Sieghart described in her excellent book. And, as Pragya Agarwal pointed out in response to a recent headline about women failing to find the time to exercise, the pressures on women are complex, and for many women, layered. It is into this landscape that we emerge as leaders.
What can we do to thrive and to allow our teams to flourish? And how can we do that whilst cultivating the joy in our own role?
Happy's leadership programmes are designed to help leaders reflect on what their workplace culture looks like and what part they have to play in that.
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Rachael is the IT Product Development Manager, as well as being our Lead IT Trainer. She is responsible for making sure all our courses are of the highest quality. She has worked at Happy for over 15 years. Rachael was awarded Bronze in the Learning and Performance Institute's IT Trainer of the Year Award in 2007.